Tim Kaeding powered to victory on Friday night at LaSalle Speedway for his sixth World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series victory of the season.
Kaeding, of San Jose, Calif., started on the pole but had to fend off several drivers’ attempts to knock him off his perch. The field had to endure four attempts to start the event before completing a lap. Kaeding and Aussie James McFadden, who was making his first World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series start of the season, led the field to the green flag each time. McFadden would have jumped out the lead on the first few attempts, but on the final start it was Kaeding capturing the advantage.
After getting the jump on McFadden, Kaeding had to keep the new track record holder, Paul McMahan, at bay for several laps. McMahan started the night by setting quick time with a 10.330 before a strong run in the feature. McMahan held second for several laps before five-time champion, Donny Schatz, started to make the bottom of the track work and moved up to the second spot. Schatz assaulted Kaeding anytime the pair encountered the slightest bit of traffic, but the Californian would not surrender the lead.
“To be able to beat Donny at any race track is a feat within itself,” Kaeding said. “I’ve got one great crew here with Rob, John and Brandon. We’re gunning for the wins now and we’re just trying to have fun and not doing anything stupid. To be able to run good on the bullrings has been awesome, we struggle a little bit on the half-mile, but I think we’ve got something for them when we get to the big money races in a month or so”
Schatz would throw several slide jobs at Kaeding in an attempt to take the lead, but would come up short and finish second.
“We got to him, but we just couldn’t get enough to get by,” said the driver of the STP/Armor All J&J. “A couple of times I thought we were going to, we needed him to make a mistake and he just didn’t make it. We worked hard to get the car good we got it a lot better and I think I had a better car, but he just out drove me a little bit.”
Craig Dollansky worked his Eyecon Trail Cameras Maxim to the third spot after starting 8th.
“It took me a little bit to figure out where my car would work best,” said Dollansky, of Elk River, Minn. “My team did a great job, we had a pretty decent race car there is a couple of things we would have done different to make it a little better. All in all to start eighth and come out of there with a top three was a good run for the Eyecon Trail Cameras team.”
McMahan eventually fell to fourth and that is where he would finish. Bill Balog rounded out the top five.
Daryn Pittman was involved in one of the incidents before completing a lap, and he would again go to the back of the pack after flipping down the front stretch, as did Wayne Johnson on lap 3 bringing out the red flag. Johnson walked away from the incident and after a lengthy delay in the work area the championship leader was able to restart.
The second place finish for Schatz again edges him closer to Pittman in the championship battle with the gap now 109 points. Pittman salvaged a 14th-place finish and minimized the damage from Schatz’s podium run.
The World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series is back on track Saturday night at Beaver Dam (Wis.) Raceway. Then the series ends its three day streak of racing on Sunday night at Cedar Lake Speedway before heading to Huset’s for a midweek show this Wednesday night.